Portland Mellow

One thing I really enjoy about working remotely as an editor is mobility, especially since moving back to my favorite city–Portland, Oregon–late last summer. At least once a week, I make an excursion to the UPS Store on Third Avenue to mail my decisions on the latest week’s submissions back to the home office. On good days, a warm breeze blows the smell of frying pakoras from the Indian food stand, fewer than three homeless people ask if I can spare any change, and all three say “God bless you” when I shake my head “No”.

I appreciate the stark contrast between Portland’s street people and those I used to encounter in New York City. I still haven’t gotten over the guy in NYC who stuck up his nose when I offered him a dollar. “Are you kidding? This is New York City!” he said, shaking his head and turning his back on me. On my last trip through downtown Portland, a guy asked me for six cents. Six cents! Maybe it’s the recession, but I like to think that Portland’s street people just have that mellow west coast vibe.

Today’s writing challenge: Write a description, poem, or story that shows how the street people (or others) in your city or town reflect the local vibe.

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